Clean

1989 (2014)

“Clean” is the thirteenth and last track on the standard edition of Taylor’s fifth studio album, “1989” (2014). It is a pop ballad about going through hard times but coming out stronger in the end.

The song was written by Taylor and Imogen Heap at the latter’s house outside of London in February, 2014. Taylor expanded on the song’s meaning:

“Clean” I wrote as I was walking out of Liberty in London. Someone I used to date — it hit me that I’d been in the same city as him for two weeks and I hadn’t thought about it. When it did hit me, it was like, ‘Oh, I hope he’s doing well’. And nothing else. And you know how it is when you’re going through heartbreak. A heartbroken person is unlike any other person. Their time moves at a completely different pace than ours. It’s this mental, physical, emotional ache and feeling so conflicted. Nothing distracts you from it. Then time passes, and the more you live your life and create new habits, you get used to not having a text message every morning saying, ‘Hello, beautiful. Good morning.’ You get used to not calling someone at night to tell them how your day was. You replace these old habits with new habits, like texting your friends in a group chat all day and planning fun dinner parties and going out on adventures with your girlfriends, and then all of a sudden one day you’re in London and you realize you’ve been in the same place as your ex for two weeks and you’re fine. And you hope he’s fine. The first thought that came to my mind was — I’m finally clean.” — Taylor Swift

Imogen opened up about how she and Taylor wrote and finished the song in less than a day. You can read her “journal entry” on her blog, here.

During her “1989 World Tour“, Taylor gave an inspirational speech before performing “Clean” every night.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
The drought was the very worst
When the flowers that we’d grown together died of thirst
It was months and months of back and forth
You’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore

[Pre-chorus 1]
Hung my head as I lost the war
and the sky turned black like a perfect storm

[Chorus]
Rain came pouring down when I was drowning
That’s when I could finally breathe
And by morning gone was any trace of you,
I think I am finally clean

[Verse 2]
There was nothing left to do
When the butterflies turned to dust that covered my whole room
So I punched a hole in the roof
Let the flood carry away all my pictures of you

[Pre-chorus 2]
The water filled my lungs
I screamed so loud but no one heard a thing

[Chorus]
Rain came pouring down when I was drowning
That’s when I could finally breathe
And by morning gone was any trace of you,
I think I am finally clean
I think I am finally clean
Said I think I am finally clean

[Bridge]
Ten months sober, I must admit
Just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it
10 months older, I won’t give in
Now that I’m clean I’m never gonna risk it

The drought was the very worst
When the flowers that we’d grown together died of thirst

[Chorus]
Rain came pouring down when I was drowning
That’s when I could finally breathe
And by morning gone was any trace of you,
I think I am finally clean

Rain came pouring down when I was drowning
That’s when I could finally breathe
And by morning gone was any trace of you
I think I am finally clean
Finally clean
Think I’m finally clean
Think I’m finally clean

General Information
Album1989
ReleasedOctober 27, 2014
RecordedFebruary 9, 2014
StudioThe Hideaway Studios (England)
GenreSynth Folk
Length4:31
LabelBig Machine Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Imogen Heap
ProducersImogen Heap
Taylor Swift
1989 CHRONOLOGY
I Know PlacesCleanWonderland
Single Certification
Hidden Message
She lost him but she found herself and somehow that was everything
Polaroid
Instagram Teaser
Official Audio